Learning Express, Inc. To Open Flagship Toy Store, Play Center in Bedford Marketplace

January 15, 2016
The steel frame is up at Learning Express of Bedford. The toy store and play center have a summer 2016 opening planned. Courtesy image (c) 2016
The steel frame is up at Learning Express of Bedford. The toy store and play center have a summer 2016 opening planned. Courtesy image (c) 2016 – Click image to see it at full width

Submitted by Learning Express, Inc.

A rendering of Learning Express Toys storefront at the Bedford Marketplace, adjacent to Learning Express Play. The store and play center have a summer 2016 opening planned.
A rendering of Learning Express Toys storefront at the Bedford Marketplace, adjacent to Learning Express Play. The store and play center have a summer 2016 opening planned.

Learning Express Inc., the nation’s largest educational toy franchisor, plans to open a flagship Learning Express Toys location in the redeveloped Bedford Marketplace (Whole Foods plaza) in summer 2016. Adjacent to the 2,500-square-foot toy store, Learning Express, Inc. will also introduce a new concept: Learning Express Play, a children’s activity center and play museum for children ages 6 months through age 8.

Learning Express Play will host classes, birthday parties and open play. Classes will span movement and dance, art, music, science and other themes. The play space, named Downtown Play, will feature more than 16 themed play areas inspired by New England townscapes and nationally-recognized children’s museums, including a general store, veterinary clinic, performing arts center, pretend restaurant, gymnasiumwith a rock-climbing wall, infant play area,and much, much more.

Center Director Sonya Kalajian, a 27-year veteran of the toy business, looks forward to bringing a combined shopping and play experience to Bedford and surrounding communities.

“It’s an incredible place where kids can play,explore, and if they find a toy they love, parents are able to purchase it, too. It’s a place to go play and have some recreational fun as a family,” Kalajian said. “The location is amazing—parents can do some shopping, supporting local merchants while their kids are in classes. As a mom, I know how useful that can be—getting things done knowing your kids are happy and safe in a clean, educational environment.”

The play center will also featurea Snack Café to relax, enjoy a cup of coffee, and eat light snacks.

As with its other 125 locations nationwide, Learning Express Toys of Bedfordwill set itself apart from the “big-box” stores with unique toys, gifts, and exclusive products—all of which will inspire young minds birth to age12 and up. Learning Express Toys will also provide customized services such as free gift wrapping, complimentary personalization of a variety of items,and a“Birthday Box” registry.

The Learning ExpressHome Office is headquartered in Devens. Its founder, Sharon DiMinico of Groton, opened the first Learning Express store in Acton in 1987. Learning Express Play is the brainchild of her daughter and son-in-law, Lauren and Mike Derse of Harvard,who have two young boys.

“We can’t wait to introduce the Learning Express Play concept to Bedford. The town has been so supportive and welcoming,” Mike Derse said.“Our 2-year-old son, John, will probably head right for the gymnastics trampoline. Robby, age 1, will love the train table in the middle of Downtown Play. I can’t think of a better place to bring our family and meet the other families of Bedford and surrounding communities.”

“I know from personal experience that coordinating birthday parties and finding birthday gifts for all our kids’ friends can be overwhelming,” Lauren Derse said. “I’m really happy to offer other moms and dads this all-in-one place to get it done. It’s been two years in the making, and I’m so excited to open our doors.”

Learning Express Toys and Learning Express Play are currently in the first phase of construction. The structural steel is up and the project is on schedule.

For updates on the development, follow Learning Express of Bedford, MA – Toy Store and Play Center at www.facebook.com/LEbedfordma.

About Learning Express Toys

Learning Express LogoLearning Express Toys is the nation’s leading franchisor of educational toy stores with more than 125 locations across the country, each one locally owned and operated. Providing an extraordinary shopping experience, Learning Express Toys is known for its knowledgeable sales staff that offers expert advice on choosing the perfect toy, for every child, for every occasion. The Learning Express Toys product mix is carefully selected from manufacturers around the world, each toy hand-picked for itsexceptional play value. 

For more information, interview requests, and media inquiries, please contact Becki Harrington-Davis at [email protected] or 978-889-1083.

To learn more about Learning Express Toys, franchise opportunities, or a store near you, visit learningexpress.com.

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